After suffering an embarrassing 227 runs defeat which was their first in the country since 2012, India will be looking to bounce back strongly with a win. England on the other hand would be looking to continue their winning streak of 11 test wins, with their 7th win on the trot in Asia.
Joe Root’s double hundred in the first innings and a dominant performance by English spinners Dom Bess and Jack Leach combined by the swing trickery of James Anderson had got England over the line in the first test and India would be cautious of repeating the same mistakes of the first test.
The 2nd test match of the series will start from the 13th of February and is scheduled to end on the 17th, after five days of expected play. As the match venues and the schedule of this tour have been fixed keeping in mind the Covid-19 situation, the 2nd test, too, will be held at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk, Chennai.
However, certain changes could be observed from the first test. Fans in a limited capacity are allowed in the stadium and that would be a boost for the home side. The pitch in Chepauk is expected to turn from the first day itself and is expected to be helpful to the Indian spinners and batsmen. The key might also lie in winning the toss as the team batting first would be in a prime position to post a big total.
India Team News
The Indian team would be looking to make some changes from the first test. The openers and the middle order are expected to remain the same despite an underwhelming performance in the first test. Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara are in fine form, but Ajinkya Rahane should be looking to break his string of bad performances with the bat. Virat Kohli, usually leads from the front in crunch situations and you can expect this time to be no different. To reinforce the batting, Hardik Pandya might also be thrown in the mix
The bowling order is where there might be changes. Spinning all-rounder Axar Patel is fit again, so Shahbaaz Nadeem has been removed from the tour squad. Ravichandran Ashwin will play an influential role with his spin mastery. The Indian management was heavily criticised for not including Kuldeep Yadav in the first test and he might be given a chance. Washington Sundar, despite being impressive with the bat, hasn’t shown signs that he deserves or is good enough to be the third specialist spinner. Overall, Ravi Shastri and co. have a decision to make on the bowling department for this match on supposed rank turner of a pitch.
England Team News
England have already announced their 12-man squad for the test and it has been heavily influenced by their Covid-induced rotational policy. Wicket keeper Jos Butler has returned home to be replaced by Ben Foakes, while Jimmy Anderson and Dom Bess have been rested. Stuart Broad and Moeen Ali have come in their place. Joffra Archer had issues with his elbow and England has announced all-rounder Chris Woakes as a handy replacement for him.
India will be relieved that Anderson has been rested because, except Virat Kohli, the entire middle order has fallen to his masterclass in pace bowling. Moeen Ali has great performances against India and he would be playing his first test match since August 2019. He would be raring to go after overcoming Covid-19 in the last month. Skipper Joe Root has sent a message to rested spinner Dom Bess who had a slight slump in form in the 2nd innings of the first test.
He has been asked to work hard and be a little more consistent in his game. For England, Chris Woakes is a good choice because he is very handy with the bat apart from being a good pace bowler. Experienced Stuart Broad can play the Jimmy Anderson role in this test and India will be careful about Jack Leach’s spin which troubled them in the first test.
India will be looking to take full advantage of the spinning track in Chennai, but they must be careful that the plan doesn’t backfire against them like Australia in 2017 and England in 2012.
On the other hand, England and Joe Root will be looking to take an undefeatable 2-0 lead in this four-match series. Overall, fans are expecting this to be a cracker of a match.